Facebook Removes Name Search Privacy Setting

If you’re an avid Facebook stalker, here’s some good news: Facebook is removing the feature that formerly let users prevent others from finding them by searching for their name in the Facebook search bar. If you’ve been successfully avoiding old classmates, a crazy ex, your boss, or just the general public on Facebook, you better start tidying up your profile, because that privacy is vanishing soon.

Facebook said in a blog post that it’s removing the feature, and users will be notified about it soon. The company’s logic for why it’s phasing it out is kind of hilarious:

The setting also made Facebook's search feature feel broken at times. For example, people told us that they found it confusing when they tried looking for someone who they knew personally and couldn't find them in search results, or when two people were in a Facebook Group and then couldn't find each other through search.

Those still using the feature would say to Facebook, “Exactly”.

Facebook name search privacy

It’s also not at all surprising that Facebook would do away with users’ ability to hide. Facebook is built on connections, and while better connections do make for a superior social media experience, not everyone wants that.

Facebook suggests that now the best way to limit what people can see about you is to “choose the audience of the individual things you share”. Users will soon see more messages letting them know (or just reminding them) that what they’re about to post or share can be seen publicly, and they can quickly limit the audience of a given post.

Facebook name search privacy

Thus, even though Facebook is taking away a favorite tool for anonymity, it’s at least throwing users a bone by giving them some control over who sees what. But anyone can now see something about everyone on Facebook.